I was born into a lower-middle-class family in Bangladesh.
From childhood, I felt something in my heart whenever I saw any actor from a movie/model baring his body. That didn’t feel unnatural then, as I didn’t give it too much thought. In adolescence, I became slightly worried as my classmates were always talking about girls. I just couldn’t understand why I didn’t have any attraction to girls. But still, for the sake of being social, I partook in those conversations with fake enthusiasm. But, after a certain time, I always got annoyed or didn’t have much to contribute to the conversations. Day by day, I became an introvert. You know, 90% of young Bangladeshi boys’ conversations are all about girls.
I was not a feminine type of man, and I always took part in sports and had interest in those. So, no one ever suspected I was gay. I got lucky there. You can’t imagine what feminine boys in school have to go through here.
I thought only those who are slightly feminine types have attraction for people of the same gender. So, I could not understand why I had that type of attraction. But, when I was 16, I was exposed to the internet. To my surprise, I found out that anyone can be gay. Not only gay, there is also a wide sexual spectrum.
I got my biggest shock when I found out that my own religion hates gay people. Allah destroyed a whole tribe for homosexuality and also prepared eternal punishment. And Mohammed, my beloved prophet, ordered us to be killed. I was mentally devastated. I could not get over the fact easily. But, still I didn’t think of raising any question against Islam ever due to the brainwashed upbringing of I had had, just like any other Muslim boy. I thought Islam was perfect and that Allah was always right.
At 21, I started to be slightly rational and decided to dig deeper into this religion. I found some controversial things such as slavery, killing apostates, and misogyny, all of which previously I thought to be fabricated. That made me skeptical in the true sense. But, the more and more I studied, watched debates from both sides, read articles, the clearer it became that these so called holy texts are not from any God or His chosen man. Eventually, after 1 year of being skeptical, I decided to finally leave Islam at 22 and became atheist on the agnostic side. I never felt so much mental relief before. I finally had no prejudice against me; I accepted myself completely. I was proud that I have overcome the brainwashing of accepting an extremely homophobic system rather than my own sexuality.
Now I just want a safe life nothing else as a gay man where I can be with anyone I want without being without being exiled from society or for worst getting killed.
Source: BAH (Bangladesh Against Homophobia)